Living with PTSD – The Long Term Effects of Child Abuse


A child who has suffered the unfortunate and tragic experience of child abuse, whether emotional, physical, sexual or more, will invariably be affected by it. The fallout often continues to haunt the child for the rest of their adolescent and/or adult life.

The trauma associated with this kind of experience shapes itself into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in which the victim can get triggered by events in daily life. These triggers are born when the child undergoes child abuse and can often be catastrophic for them. If not dealt with properly, i.e. through long term rehabilitation and therapy/counseling, this trauma can result in long-lasting effects that continue to shape how the child views the world.

Child abuse not only affects the child in question but because of the reality of PTSD, the consequences can be inter-generational ones. This means that the affected child aka the victim’s experience can negatively impact their loved ones, their offspring, and society in general. No one can live independent of such a traumatic incident and this is much worse for those children who have suffered multiple counts of abuse.

As discussed above, abuse tends to appear in many forms. While children can suffer long term effects such as PTSD, this can also be literal. Children who have been abused can carry bruises, internal bleeding, broken bones that never set and much more. However, physical injuries are still easier to erase and fix than mental and emotional ones. These scars, unfortunately, last for a much longer time and are harder to detect.

Some of these insidious effects show up when children start exhibiting avoidance behaviors, which means they actively avoid certain people, places and things that remind them of the traumatic event. These behaviors mean that they also develop difficulty in social attachments and trust. This is understandable, considering the intensity of their trauma. However, this can be dealt with through therapy and PTSD counseling.

PTSD like this is especially dangerous because it can show up in the form of criminal or antisocial behavior on the part of the victim. It’s interesting to see how trauma and illegal behavior might be connected, but there is such a connection according to psychiatrists who deal with these cases.

This trauma is often worse if it is prolonged and the victim receives no closure. Or if they have to stay in contact/be exposed to their perpetrator after the abuse has occurred. While many child abusers are never caught, there are new laws now that allow victims to seek compensation for past experiences. For more details on child abuse law, find out here.

Lawmakers have understood that an abuser is often a friendly face and while this makes the case tricky, they need to take action against it. It’s important that child abuse lawyers be up-to-date with child abuse laws in their own state or region.

The only ways to successfully deal with the traumatic fallout of child abuse are clear. Victims or victims’ families can take legal aid to catch the perpetrator and bring them to justice. This should be supplemented with professional psychological help as a way to heal mental and emotional wounds. This is how PTSD after child abuse can be dealt with.


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